Riddle Me This!

You should read the new “opportunity to learn” report and not just dismiss it as a rerun of ideas debated 15 years ago. If, as looks increasingly likely, there are fewer moderates in Congress after the midterm elections, these ideas will have more traction and resonance among national elected Democrats.

But, this agenda is organized and bankrolled by millions from foundations and the NEA and touted by the same folks who can’t stop yammering about Gates, Broad, and other foundations.  I don’t really care, all NGOs need money to operate and I like a vigorous debate.  But in terms of the rhetoric,  what, exactly, is the difference here?  I assume it’s deeper than viewpoint discrimination or good for me but not for thee?

Standing disc: BMGF supports Bellwether. Additional disc: Bellwether works with the NEA Foundation and I work with TBF.

One Reply to “Riddle Me This!”

  1. “But in terms of the rhetoric, what, exactly, is the difference here? ”

    OK, I’ll bite. One difference, I would wager, is size. Certainly none on the list of OTL supporters compare in size to Gates. Ford is big (not nearly as big as Gates), but doesn’t put a lot of its money into US education as far as I know. Most of the others on the OTL list are small, to my knowledge.

    Another distinction might in terms of what one might call “aggressiveness.” That particularly applies to Broad, which is fearless about pushing certain kinds of reform strategies at the district level that often rile people up. You might call that a different animal than funding national advocacy groups to promote a certain point of view.

    Finally, one might say that OTL represents a more grassroots view. One might claim with some justice, for example, that the NAACP has a broader swathe of popular support than, say, Bellwether Associates. Many of the civil rights groups are primarily membership-based organizations, which Bellwether Associates is not, although I may be mistaken. In which case, Bellwether Associates would largely be a mouthpiece for Gates (and other footing its bills), would it not?

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